Athletes donate gold medals to sports museum

Athletes donate gold medals to sports museum
WINNERS: Former water polo players, who represented Singapore from 1965 to 2013 at the SEA Games, with President Tony Tan, his wife Mary and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong (in red jacket). They donated 25 gold medals, which will be displayed at the Singapore Sports Museum.
PHOTO: ALAN HENG

He won his maiden gold medal at the 1983 SEA Games as part of the men's water polo team.

Thirty-two years later, he is giving his medal away for a good cause.

Mr Alan Heng is one of the 25 water polo players who have contributed their SEA Games gold medals to be showcased at the Singapore Sports Museum.

Among the 25 were prominent pioneer players of their time such as Mr Tan Eng Liang, who took part in many international competitions, including the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne..

The initiative was led by Mr Heng and another former player, Mr Jerome Lau, and was part of their plans to bring together players who represented the country from 1965 to the present day.

Their plans came to fruition when more than 100 players turned up to support the young SEA Games team that won gold recently.

Twenty-five of them also willingly parted with their medals, in hopes of celebrating the achievements of Singapore water polo.

INITIATIVE

Mr Heng said of the initiative: "We wanted to take the opportunity of the SEA Games in Singapore to celebrate our golden legacy."

He said the 25 medals signified Singapore's golden reign since the 1965 South-east Asian Peninsular Games.

Mr Heng also hoped the medals would inspire younger generations.

The 52-year-old said: "We hope to inspire generations of Singaporeans on the spirit of tenacity, consistency and continued excellence."

Singapore Sports Museum director Hairani Joshi said the medals would motivate budding athletes.

"Visitors always look forward to seeing the success of our athletes," she said.

"The new medals will definitely boost the morale of budding athletes."

Miss Hairani also said that visitors would be able to learn more about the rich history of Singapore water polo.

Mr Heng sees the golden legacy as an encouragement for Singaporeans.

He said: "We should be encouraged by the victories won by our water polo teams, young and old."

"Likewise, I hope Singaporeans will know that despite our small geographical size, we can achieve more than we ever imagined."

deweysim@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 22, 2015.
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